The Mandalorian's first season finale is upon us, and happens to be the first episode since the theatrical release of Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker.
Of course we want to discuss that, but as this is TV Fanatic, let's focus, people! (Though we soon shall hopefully be discussing the new rumored Darth Maul TV show -- YASSSSS everybody shake your baby-Jedi maker!)
I'm a little torn on this one because the combat scenes were pristine examples of beauteous television violence. But then the way the finale ended was a bit anti-climactic for me -- and predictable.
Let's break it down a bit.
I suppose we need to grieve Kuiil since they do not show him surviving Episode 7's ordeal. But just because they don't show something don't make it fact -- not yet anyway!
So I'm sure many of us are still sad about that. But at least we get Jedi baby back into the protective hands of Mando and his crew.
Speaking of which, how fucking cool is IG-11? I think he may have become one of my favorite droids during this episode (along with D-O from The Rise of Skywalker -- the two should meet up and make their own TV show!).
Jarren: Try it and I'll kill you. It is forbidden. No living thing has seen me without my helmet since I swore the creed.
IG-11: I am not a living thing.
[IG-11 removes Jarren's helmet.]
And it's true, I need to continuously go back and correct each time I call him IG-88 in these reviews. To my credit, they are pretty identical.
And then I'm all:
When he thrust some nurse droid hell on the scout troopers who captured The Child, I got a little turned on.
And then when he does it later while blasting through the village on Navarro where Mando and the crew were being held hostage, I was all, "I need a nurse droid to protect me too, OK, galaxy?"
But that was some seriously cool cathartic TV violence. We can thank director Taika Waititi for that.
The other awesome example of killer, remedying violence was when the stormtroopers interrogate the female Mandalorian after Mando's crew leaves her and she berserks on them, killing them all.
Damn that was cool.
This is the first episode where we officially find out Mando's actual name: Dyn Jarren (now if they were to pronounce that with a New York dialect, I'd laugh, methinks).
I was a foundling. They raised me in the fighting corps, I was treated as one of their own. When I came of age, I was sworn to the creed. The only record of my family name was in the registers of Mandalor. Moff Gideon was an ISB Officer during the purge, That's how I know it was him.Jarren
Moff Gideon reveals the name, along with Cara's middle name, which happens to be Cynthia. And for some reason that actually did make me laugh.
There was a plot point revealed as to how Gideon knows Jarren's name which I imagine will become more important in Season 2.
Later on, we see Mando, er, Jarren's face. It felt a little like a letdown, honestly. Not sure exactly what we were supposed to feel there, but it ended up causing a reaction of, "Oh. OK. That's what he looks like. Um, now what? Next!"
It was a nice moment between Jarren and IG-11 there, though when the droid needed to remove his helmet to heal him with whatever magical nurse droid spray that was. I'm hoping it was more than just Binaca.
But how come 11 didn't bring up his healing spray when Jarren was saying shit like, "Leave me, I can't make it. I'm a martyr warrior and have to almost die now so that our audience can get teary-eyed?"
Cara and Jarren even had a teary little goodbye there. And 11 could have saved them the emotional fireworks. Makes me think he is a bit of a sinister guy who subtly enjoys the drama.
I was surprised to learn that we can pretty much trust Greef Karga now. But I am hesitant to guarantee that will last.
I loved the ferry droid who looked like a psycho R2-D2 on stilts.
I loved IG-11's sacrifice to save the team -- but am pissed we won't have him to enjoy any longer.
IG-11: I am fulfilling my base function
Jarren: Which is?
IG-11: To nurse and protect.
And when Jarren uses his jetpack for the first time and attaches himself to the Moff Gideon in his firing TIE fighter, I found that to be more emotional than the ending itself.
Well, the most emotional episode was "The Reckoning." I was hoping for this episode to succeed that level of heart wrench.
Jarren: I was not born on Mandalore.
Greef: But you're a Mandalorian.
Cara: Mandalorian is not a race.
Dyn: It's a creed.
Once IG-11 self-destructed and the Stormtroopers were no longer a threat and Gideon's TIE went down, it all sort of faded into meh-dom, did it not?
It was totally predictable that Jarren leaves Cara and Greef to their own devices on Navarro and bursts off into the darkness with Jedi baby.
Though I honestly have forgotten entirely where we have seen that Mandalorian emblem pendant thing that Jedi baby was somehow holding onto at the end.
The songs of eons past tell of battle between Mandalore the Great and an order of sorcerers called Jedi that fought with such powers.Female Mandalorian
We have seen that before, haven't we? Where? (answer in the comments below, because I'm too lazy to track that info down and you all probably already know it!)
It was adorkable to see the Jawas at the end, milling about the TIE crash site and scurrying away when Gideon miraculously exits the ship, cutting through it's wall with his lightsaber, and presenting himself as completely undamaged.
But come on, as soon as we saw that ship go down, didn't we all say to ourselves, "Yeah, he ain't dead, he's totally coming back before the end credits!?" Though I didn't expect him to be fully intact.
Hey, let's make the baby do the magic hand thing. Come on, baby! Do the magic hand thing! [Jedi baby waves.] I'm out of ideas.Greef
There's a story there, I know it.
So overall, some righteous violence, some very witty humor, a cool introduction of a bad-ass female Mandalorian, and some sweet goodbyes don't totally compensate for a lackluster ending.
That being said, it's still one of the best current TV shows and now we have to wait how long for a new season? I just hope we see more episodes like Episode 7, and not as many like the ending of Episode 8.
Do you disagree with me? Shoot your comments down below and lemme have it!
IG-11: You have suffered damage to your central processing unit.
Jarren: You mean my brain.
IG-11: That was a joke. It was meant to put you at ease.
Now, go enjoy The Rise of Skywalker for a third time, and let's count the days until the new Darth Maul series arrives 'cuz OMG!
Kerr Lordygan is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.